Archive for the ‘home repair’ Category

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Cash is KING for real estate & other random real estate thoughts.

August 24, 2012

This may be a wild and wooly post but I’m just going to share whatever is on my mind today:

What in the world is going on in real estate in Orlando? I’m glad you asked. It’s a rather unique market right now with super low inventory of homes for sale and still lots and lots of distressed properties on the market. Not as many foreclosures but a lot more short sales.

I am seeing multiple bids on homes that are in move-in condition. I listed and sold a home in ONE day recently that was located in Winter Park and was completely remodeled. We had a bidding war and over 20 showings in two days. Absolute madness. What this tells me is that there are so few homes available that are in pristine condition that people will swarm over the good homes for sale. Note to Sellers: FIX YOUR HOUSE UP and make it shine. It paid off for my Sellers in a BIG way.

I recently had a chance to speak with an appraiser (yes…he actually spoke to me) and he told me that 8 out of 10 homes he appraises are fixed up and renovated. He hasn’t appraised a dumpy house in a long time. It is interesting to note that most people are looking for that type of home. After buying a home with 20% down, there isn’t a whole lot of extra cash leftover to fix up the home. So have your home in beautiful condition and watch the offers come in.

There are still distressed homes for sale and while lenders are putting lipstick on these pigs (i.e. paint and carpet)…they are still often showing signs of neglect. The interesting thing is that people are still bidding high on foreclosed homes. I am not sure what is going on here because who wants to OVERPAY for a home anymore? Have buyers lost their minds? Foreclosures are NOT a “deal” at the moment.

Finally, investors are still out there trying to work creative financing and get all sorts of hinky transactions closed. Flippers are back. I won’t deal with anything that may appear unethical and some of these deals just don’t seem “right” to me. Best to move forward with buyers who are working the deal with integrity. That is not to say that investors are not ethical…I just have not felt comfortable with the ones that have approached me lately.

Finally, CASH is KING. If you want to guarantee your offer will be accepted, I hope you are lucky to have cash. People know that the mortgage process is still dicey with resulting delays as things move through underwriting. If you have CASH…you have a guaranteed deal once you pass the inspection phases.

That’s real estate in a nutshell for Orlando…things are moving and selling but we have precious little homes available for sale. If you want TOP DOLLAR for your house – now is the time. I have not seen prices this good in a long time. Let’s get selling…

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Change is good…let’s get into home design

February 29, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years I have been writing about market conditions and lenders and the federal government’s role in real estate. I’m still going to do that but…I’m also going to start writing some hints and tips to help you get your home SOLD in these challenging times.

For starters – I recently had a homeowner approach me about selling their home inOrlando. They asked me to stop by to view their home. What did I find? A carport full of junk (think hoarder), dead grass and a very unappealing entry to this charming home.

I told the Sellers that before we did ANYTHING – they had to clean up the front, put in new grass and add some orange shutters, window boxes, and paint the front door, etc. In other words – create charm. They did so and sold their home quickly.

No matter how you live daily…you have to live differently when you are selling your home. A lovely and charming entry is going to entice people to look at the inside of your home. If a home looks neglected – Buyers won’t give it a second chance.

Today color is HUGE. The orange (think coral) shutters and window boxes made a giant impact on the Sellers’ home. They did not have to buy tons of new plants, just fill the window boxes and replace the lawn with new grass. The whole change was under $2,000 and they got it all back on the sale of their home. In fact, the Sellers wondered if they should sell once the house looked so cute.

Just like anything – first impressions count. Make yours memorable.

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WEEKEND home projects

January 28, 2008

 

I find that most buyers today are looking for a home that they can move in without having to lift a finger to make any improvements. TV has brought us the designer dream homes, designing on a dime and trading houses. It’s a whole new world full of ideas for today’s homeowner. For the luxury buyer…there is always the hired help. For those of you who can’t afford hired help, here are some great suggestions for the weekend home repair warrior.

According to Cecilia Sherrard with RISMEDIA, the following are the top things you can finish over a weekend.

1. Replace Old Knobs and Door Handles. This is an easy, inexpensive way to dress up or change the look of doors, cabinets, and more. Many homes in the Cleveland Ohio area are older and have outdated hardware. These small changes can actually transform the look and style of your home. Whether you choose vintage glass, shiny metal or even rustic wood, installing these new knobs and handles can add to the value of your home, as well. Don’t overlook the hinges! If you can’t quite get to those now, but have a squeaky door, try spraying the hinges with a cooking spray like Pam. It works!

2. Install a Greenhouse Window. A beautiful addition to any room in the home, a greenhouse window will allow you to grow flowers, herbs and other plants even during the winter! Replacing a regular window with a greenhouse window adds dimension, light and display space while eliminating clutter. Available at home supply stores, they come with many options including granite finishes and glass shelves.

3. Paint, Paint, Paint! Painting can instantly change your home’s look and feel. Don’t limit your color change to just your walls – an updated color on furniture or cabinetry can really spice things up, as well. Play with new colors, patterns and techniques. Don’t be afraid of going bold; remember, if you don’t like the way the color looks, you can always paint over it! There’s a wall, trim or doorway in everyone’s home that could use some paint or freshening. Cheap and easy, get to work!

4. Replace Builder Lighting or Outdated Fixtures with remote ceiling fans. Not only will it save energy and keep your air circulating, it will add appeal, value and enhance the beauty of a room and pull your entire decor together from the floor up. Ceiling fans today are modern, fun, classy and relatively easy to install. They come with directions and there’s help online. If you purchase one in a home improvement store the sales people will help you as well! Make sure you call on their advice and expertise, that’s what they’re there for!

5. Work on your closets and cabinets. Most homeowners have secrets hiding in their closets and cabinetry. The closet is the least looked at part of the home and there we tend to find cracking or peeling paint, old contact paper and clutter! How about taking a few hours and organize, adding new shelves, hooks or hardware and giving yourself more room by throwing out or donating some of the items you think one day you’ll use but haven’t in a decade!

6. Don’t forget your home’s air quality. Change your furnace filter! You can add a couple of dryer sheets to the new one to add a cheap and whole-house air freshener. Remove your vents and soak them in a hot bleach bath while you vacuum inside to remove dust and build up. Clean the hard to reach spots in your home that you don’t get to often. Behind entertainment centers, baseboards, behind heavy furniture and under beds. Removing dust in the home can make it smell better and create a healthier environment!

These fun projects are a great way to pass the time this winter, not to mention the way they’ll quickly improve the look and value of your home!

For more information, tips, and ideas, see: YouShouldOwn.com.